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Water Damaged Crawlspace

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LOCATION ADDRESS:
2200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 102 - #456
Arlington, VA 22201
United States


703-349-1189 (Business)

Fax: 703-271-0199

 

 

How to deal with Flooded Crawlspaces

One of the major problems facing property owners in the Arlington VA and Fairfax VA area is water damage, specifically that which affects areas of a property such as the basement or crawlspace. Basements are natural attractions for water due to their location within the property, but crawlspaces may in many ways be even worse, simply because they are more difficult to access, and as a result, will almost always be more difficult to work in.

Crawlspaces are typically found beneath the property, running through the foundational walls, and are quite often neglected simply because there is rarely a reason to go into one. The end result is that water damage or any of the problems associated with water damage may sit for extended periods without being discovered. This situation is aggravated by the fact that crawlspaces as a rule are not equipped with any sort of air conditioning or circulation system, which means that moist air and excessive humidity will be able to build up over time. This allows the problem to grow and give birth to additional issues such as mold.

 

This is one of the reasons why crawlspace related water damage requires the services of a trained water restoration professional, someone who is familiar and experienced with the situation as it exists in the crawlspace, as well as how to work effectively in such a confined, limited space.

Crawlspaces almost always have dirt flooring, which means that moisture from the ground may have easy access to the structure unless a vapor barrier is properly installed. If the vapor barrier is not installed correctly, wall to wall, with no tears or other damage to the material, it is just as good as not having one there at all. Again, professional installation is required to make sure the vapor barrier is properly installed and working correctly to eliminate moisture problems.

In the event of water damage to your crawlspace, safety is of the utmost concern. Remember that most crawlspaces are used for the running of piping, HVAC, and electrical wiring. If these materials are not properly insulated, the crawlspace may become a very hazardous area. Your restoration professionals can make the determination regarding if and when a crawlspace may be safely entered.

When entering the crawlspace, proper safety clothing and equipment should be worn. This includes long sleeves, pants, heavy duty gloves and boots, as well as eye protection and a respirator.

Respirators are absolute musts when dealing with any scenario where mold might be a factor. Remember that crawlspaces may also be a refuge for small rodents or snakes, so caution should be taken when poking around in dark corners or small openings.

If the insulation has gotten wet, it will need to be removed and eventually replaced. If the vapor barrier has been damaged it will need replacing as well (since a damaged barrier is the same as having no barrier at all). If there is any trace of standing water in the area, it will need to be removed through professional water extraction techniques.

 

PuroClean crawl space water damage

Because of the nature of crawlspaces, low lying, dark, and damp, a thorough drying of the unit will be difficult. This is another reason why professional water restoration providers should do the work. They have the equipment, tools, and training to take care of even the most extreme water damage hazards.

The crawlspace is normally accessed from the exterior of the home through a small doorway more closely resembling a hatch, two or three feet wide. The crawlspace may also open into the home at any one of several different points, via electrical or HVAC ductwork, any one of which will need to be properly covered by air movers designed to draw air in from the outside, providing fresh air into the crawlspace environment and preventing moisture and musty odors from escaping into the living area of the home itself.

Dehumidifiers will also need to be brought to bear on the crawlspace, which can be problematic since most dehumidifier models are too large to fit into the average crawlspace opening. Desiccant dehumidifiers are recommended for these scenarios as they are designed to work in smaller spaces as well as lower temperature environments. As the air in the crawlspace dried, the more moisture is evaporated from the area.

Crawlspace drying is unique due to the location of the problem as well as the various safety problems and working conditions that must be addressed. It may also take longer to dry a crawlspace as opposed to an upper level room or hallway, which means the job is best supervised by a professional water damage restoration provider.

PuroClean is committed to providing top quality water damage restoration services for Arlington and Fairfax VA and the surrounding areas. One call will secure the services of one of our highly trained technicians who can appraise your situation and formulate a course of action designed to repair the problem and restore your property.


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